THE THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE MY FIRST TIME TRAVELLING ALONE

When I say travelling alone, I don’t necessarily mean spending a week in the South of France entirely on my lonesome sipping on rosè being fancy AF – I mean booking a trip on my own to see my loved one, prepping for it and then after my time there is done, making my way back home. There are many things that I wish I knew the first time, and after having done it twice since, there’s a lot I’ve learned. 

Travelling is a lot of fun though, and I’m a complete control freak and I love organising and making check lists for the getting ready stage and the airport experience. I also really like airports for some reason, my favourite thing is going through Duty Free, boarding the plane and I absolutely love the excitement.

Take as much money as you think you’ll need and then some 

The second time I went, I spent ten whole days in a cute little Air BnB in the central of Lisbon, we reached a point where we realised that the cash I’d brought was running dry and whoops. The third time I took a lot more with me, a whopping £200 extra than last time just coz.

 

It’s worth upgrading the flight

Obviously if you’re travelling as a family it’ll get expensive so if you’re budgeting don’t worry about this one, but I upgraded my flight the third time to ~executive~ class, which meant I got to pick my seat, I got to fast track through security and I basically had a chance to relax at the airport. It’s a lot busier in August than it is in December since it’s the school holidays and lots of families take the chance to go on holiday too, so the contrast between my travels in December vs August was wiiild. So much busier and much more intimidating.

Take a backpack for the airport

The second time I went I was packing more, my case was bigger and so was my hand luggage, but I opted for a big handbag as my hand luggage which was carrying my laptop and some misc things here and there, which sounds good in theory but the bag was bloody heavy and I had to sit down instead of making the most of the very nice Duty Free in Manchester Airport, so the third time I bought a backpack specifically designed for holding laptops and even though it was still heavy, my right shoulder wasn’t feeling the brunt of it.

Plan each day

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what you’re going to do, but it does get a little bit annoying when you’re on Google in the morning finding things to do, the second time I visited Lisbon, we had no car so we had to remain pretty central, finding where to go and what to do was a bit more effort, but we managed to fit something into every day. The last time I went, in August, we had a car and we drove around, far away from Lisbon nearly every day. There were only two days where we couldn’t use the car and on those days we just popped into Lisbon.

 

Find places to eat before you go

Finding somewhere to eat was a massive task all 3 times because I’m a very picky eater, Pedro isn’t so he could find places he’d like to try easily but if the menu had a lack of Georgia-isms, it was a no go. I definitely think that it’s worth planning where you’re going to eat and what you’re going to eat every day, and there’s no rule saying you have to stick to it if you find somewhere else, but just having places and dishes in mind will go a long way.

Find out the best times to leave back for the airport

The day before I went home the first time, we asked a taxi driver how long it’d take from where we were staying to get to Lisbon Airport, this way we could work out the best time to leave the AirBnB for the airport in time, but we ended up finding out I had an extra day there and ended up using his car to take me to the airport, and then the second and last time we used his car too, Lisbon Airport is surprisingly central; I only say it’s surprising though because it’s always 2-3 hours in Spain to get to the airport any time I’ve been there.

 

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